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Irene van Dyk to deliver Netball programme in Fiji

Silver Ferns shooting legend Irene van Dyk will be in Fiji next week to take the first steps in launching Netball’s new NetGO programme throughout schools.

Teachers from six schools in the Suva area will be mentored by van Dyk as part of the Pacific Sporting Partnership (PSP) funded by the New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

The programme delivered by Netball New Zealand encourages active and healthy lifestyles amongst children and will help build the capability of Fiji Netball to deliver the game to their young people. Earlier this year, Netball New Zealand signed an agreement with Fiji Netball to introduce the Oceania Netball Federation accredited coach programme.

A trial for Year 1 and 2 teachers will use New Zealand’s futureFERNS programme within their physical education syllabus commencing in 2018 and has the backing of the Fiji Ministry of Education.

Van Dyk, who will also visit a number of schools in Fiji alongside members of the Fiji Pearls Netball team, said she was looking forward to being part of the programme.

“It’s an amazing opportunity to help arm these teachers with the skills to take the game back to so many children in Fiji,” she said. “I think to help develop the game we love we need to spread the knowledge to as many as we can.”

Training will continue in December when Netball New Zealand training manager Tania Karauria and national junior programme manager Nicola Jones will work with both Fiji Coach Developers and 120 school teachers in the Oceania Netball Federation Foundation coaching course.

Teachers who take part in the course will receive accreditation endorsed by the Fiji Ministry of Education, and netball equipment to deliver coaching within schools.

The trial and the Oceania coaching programme both include training on raising the awareness of healthy lifestyles which is a key factor in the PSP and has been endorsed by the Fiji Ministry of Health.